The kind of prayer many people are talking about in this thread (supplication) as if it is prayer as such accounted for about 5% of the prayer I did for years as a serious practitioner in an Abrahamic tradition.
The recollection of the Buddha that the suttas praise, and which seems to lead to jhana, or just short of jhana, is similar to what an Islam is known as remembrance of God (Dhikr-ullah): Contemplating, keeping in mind, emulating and invoking the Divine Names (mercy, compassion, etc). Dhikr funny enough encompasses much of what we Buddhists call Sati-Sampajanna (mindfulness of what one is doing at all times, along with the ethical teachings that one is trying to actualize. In Islam this to a large extent falls under what is known as ihsan, often deceptively translated as "virtue") ... and it involves formal "sitting meditation" and leads to states of absorption and insight. Of course Right View is not there, so its not Buddha Dhamma, but the structural similarity is undeniable.
Prayer for a Muslim*** in the beginning stages is about submitting oneself to the Divine and at the highest level annihilation (fana) of the self (nafs) in the sheer Existence (wujud) that is the Deity: The highest form of prayer is when it is God who remembers Himself and "you" are nowhere to be found. (cf. Meister Eckhart: The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me...")
So yeah I'd call that prayer, and say its a wonderful thing to "pray to the Buddha."
***This is just an example. We'd find similar things in the other Abrahamic faiths.
Last edited by aflatun
on Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53
"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.
That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."